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Joburg, Cape Town mayors in running for intl award

by Rudo Mungoshi
on 13 May 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Johannesburg's Mayor Amos Masondo and Helen Zille, the Mayor of Cape Town, have been short-listed as one of the top 50 mayors in the world.

The pair are in the running for the 2008 World Mayor Award.

The award is organised by City Mayors, an international network of professionals working together to promote strong and prosperous cities as well as good local governance, according to the city's official website.

Of the top 50 finalists, 11 mayors are from Asia, 10 are from North America, 11 are from Latin America, 15 are from Europe, and three from Africa.

They were selected on a number of supporting nominations and the persuasiveness of supporting statements.

The other nominee from Africa is Omar El Baharaoui from the Moroccan capital of Rabat.

The annual World Mayor Award honours those who have served their communities selflessly and made significant contributions to the wellbeing of their cities.

The spokesperson for Executive Mayor Masondo, Nkhensani Makhobela, said the project was aimed at encouraging mayors to perform better.

"The World Mayor project seeks out mayors who have the vision, passion and skill to make their cities amazing places in which to live, work and visit."

It was first held in 2004 and a mayor from Africa has yet to win. To date, more than 100 000 voters from all over the world have nominated 820 mayors for this year's award.

Among the qualities that city residents looked for in a mayor were:

* Good administrative skills;

* Ability to provide safety and security; and

* Ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds.

To be in the running for the award, a citizen of a city needs to submit a motivation why that particular mayor stands out above the rest.

Votes can be cast on the World Mayor website: and voting closes on 30 June and the winner will be announced in September.

Previous winners include John So, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, in Australia; and Dora Bakoyannis, the mayor of Athens, in Greece. - BuaNews

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